There’s a lot of buzz—and a good deal of misinformation—around the drug Ozempic. How does it work? Are there side effects? Here are the facts you should know when considering Ozempic as a weight loss solution.
What is Ozempic used for?
Ozempic is FDA-approved to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. Ozempic is also clinically proven for weight loss, and when a healthcare provider determines it is medically appropriate, Ozempic can be prescribed for treating people with obesity or who are overweight.
Am I obese? Am I overweight?
The general guideline is that adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over are considered to have obesity. And adults with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are considered overweight. If you want to know your BMI, go to the CDC’s BMI calculator and enter your height and weight. The calculator will place your BMI in one of four categories: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obesity.
How does Ozempic work?
Ozempic affects your body in 3 main ways:
- Balances your blood sugar levels by increasing insulin release and decreasing glucagon release
- Slows down the rate at which your stomach empties, making you feel full longer
- Reduces your appetite and food cravings, and as a result, you end up eating fewer calories
How is Ozempic given?
It is injected by the patient, with a small needle that slips under the skin into the fat tissue. It can be administered in the abdomen or thighs, or it can be injected into the arm by someone else. Most patients experience no or very minimal pain during the injection (the injection is very similar to insulin injections done by diabetic patients)
What is the correct dose of this medication?
The full dose is 2.0 mg, taken weekly. However, your provider will usually start you off with a smaller weekly dose and work up to the full dose or the largest dose that is best for you.
What are possible side effects?
Most side effects are gastrointestinal in nature and may be dose dependent. Some patients do not tolerate the maximum dose well, and their maintenance dose is lower due to these side effects. The most common side effects that patients experience include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
Do I still need to watch my diet and exercise when I take Ozempic?
Yes. Ozempic should be considered as part of an overall weight loss and health plan, along with a diet rich in fruits and veggies and a regular program of physical activity. A healthy diet and exercise is always preferred for weight loss over medications or surgery, and medication does not replace eating a well-balanced diet and staying active.
Where can I get Ozempic for weight loss?
QuickMD can prescribe Ozempic online and send the medication to your local pharmacy or have it mailed to your home. If during your consultation with the weight-loss team the joint decision is made that you are not a good candidate for this medication, your visit will be free. To get started, make an appointment through video or phone.